Château de Bligny is the joint headquarters of Champagne Houses G.H. Martel and de Cazanove, built in 1773 on top of the ruins of a feudal chateau. All that remains of the medieval Louis XIII-style castle today is the front door with its finely sculpted grape and vine branch motifs. The wing and turret were added in the 19th Century. The chateau overlooks the village of Bligny and the Landion Valley beyond, which still supplies water to the property from a spring located beneath the cellars.
Vines have been growing on the Bligny hillsides for centuries, originally producing a still Champagne wine for the personal consumption of the chateau owner. The early 19th Century then saw the property pass into the hands of the Baron de Cachard (knighted by Louis XVIII), who set out to restore the reputation for excellence that the regional wines had formerly enjoyed. The Baron would breathe a whole new life into the estate, earning himself the sobriquet "gentleman winegrower" for his winegrowing achievements. His acquisitions and plantings together comprise the Chateau de Bligny vineyard as we know it today and include the parcel formerly owned by the ancient Priory of St Eulalie (founded in the village of Bligny circa 1000).
The estate was subsequently acquired by the Rapeneau family (also the owners of Champagne G.H. Martel and De Cazanove) whose property it remains today. The vineyard has been revamped courtesy of the family’s generous funding and the chateau has been superbly renovated. Since 1999 has been open to visitors.
The original wainscoting remains in the dining rooms and receptions rooms, which also retain their ceilings decorated with cherubs and putti. A remarkable collection of more than 1000 Champagne flutes, including pieces by Lalique and Daume, together with the chateau’s magnificent neo-gothic conservatories stand testament to the village’s history as a center of glassmaking. Until 1881 Bligny was home to the headquarters of one of the Aube’s leading glass manufacturers.
[Visit the Chateau de Bligny official website: >http://www.champagnechateaudebligny.com/en/welcome/index.php]